The Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI) is a Los Angeles based organization that is "dedicated to the increase and diffusion of knowledge about how the nation's lands are apportioned, utilized, and perceived." We were in residence at their Wendover, Utah facility in May 2011 in order to shoot photographs in the salt flats region and surrounding areas. At the time, our sculptures and site-specific installations often incorporated small-scale Midwestern farm buildings that were amalgams of several remembered buildings from our combined rural histories. Parallel to this work, we began a series of photographic studies of these miniatures exploring the perceptual effects of decontextualizing and recontextualizing them. The camera helped to create an ambiguous sense of scale as a result of the proximity of the lens in relation to the miniature, combined with the use of unfamiliar landscapes that juxtapose the Midwestern vernacular of the buildings we built.
In developing this series in Wendover, we were confronted with an unexpected situation where the usually hot, dry, desert-like salt flats were flooded, due to late spring rains, with about 4" of water. This new landscape led us to a photographic exploration of the 1800's-era characters we conceptualized for a performance at Lynden Sculpture Garden in Milwaukee, WI earlier that year. A sampling of the resulting photographs are compiled in the photo book States of Matter, described above.